Devotional on Ecclesiastes

2003 – Rocky Mtn Natl Park, Colorado

Investing in painful circumstances
Ecclesiastes 7: Sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving.
I know it is human nature to want to hurry past the difficulties of life. No one wants to spend the rest of their days dealing with some painful situation. However, I also know that just about everyone has their share of “hurt and grieving.” In fact, some folks have more than their share of such things. Some of the finest people I know carry a burden of broken health, broken dreams, and painful loss with them every day. I’ve noticed that, for some, those difficulties somehow deepen them. They know how to enjoy life, but there’s an attractive stability and perspective on life in them. The writer of Ecclesiastes says that we’re wise to invest something of ourselves in those challenging parts of life. When I make an investment, I give something of value because I expect to get a return on my investment. When I go through the darkness I tend to rush through it as quickly as possible. This portion of Ecclesiastes reminds me that there’s something for me even there if I’ll trust the Lord enough to give myself to such difficulties.
Take Away: Obviously, no one wants to go through hard times, but even in such times the Lord can work in our lives, deepening us, making us more like his Son, Jesus.

Devotional on Isaiah

Garner State Park, TX – 2006

Baby talk
Isaiah 28: This is the meaning of the stone: A TRUSTING LIFE WON’T TOPPLE.
The people who hear Isaiah’s sermons think they have everything figured out. As far as they’re concerned they’ve heard it all before. If Isaiah wants their attention he has to come up with a new approach, something unique and interesting. Otherwise, in their opinion, they’re too sophisticated for his old message. The prophet says, “You aren’t as advanced as you think you are. In fact, God’s going to strip everything back to the bare basics and his message to you is going to be ‘baby talk.'” Isaiah describes the Lord’s new approach in dealing with these know-it-all people as laying a new cornerstone. That stone, he says, will be inscribed with God’s communication to his people: “A trusting life won’t topple.” That message is, at the same time, both simple and profound. It’s simple because anyone can understand it. It’s profound because it’s the secret to maintaining life in the Lord. God isn’t looking for clever people who come up with all kinds of gimmicks and cute slogans. Instead, he’s looking for people who’ll simply trust him. As I read of the Lord’s future plans for the people of Isaiah’s day, I see that he wants me, as one of his people, to hold steady, always trusting in him.
Take Away: The Lord’s looking for people who’ll simply trust him.

Devotional on Isaiah

Garner State Park, TX – 2006

Running off to Egypt
Isaiah 30: Quit hounding us with The Holy of Israel.
As the small nation of Israel realizes just how precarious their place is on the world stage they seek an alliance with a world power, turning to Egypt to be their protector. Meanwhile, God’s prophets keep pounding away at them, calling on them to trust God and live the way he wants them to live. Their desire to find a protector among the nations seems reasonable, but they have a higher calling. However, Israel won’t listen. Those who speak for God are called irrelevant and impractical. To them, religion has its place but not when there are “real” enemies with which to deal. Their response to Isaiah is, “leave us alone while we deal with these practical issues and quit hounding us with God-talk.” Since I believe God is very much involved in every aspect of my life; that he directs me and walks with me every day and in every situation, passages like this are of only historical value to me — right? You know the answer. When something goes wrong, when someone says or does the wrong thing to me, when I have a problem, my first response is to head for Egypt for reinforcements. My actions say, “Don’t bother me with God-talk right now — I’ve got a ‘real’ problem to solve. Once that’s taken care of I’ll see you in church next Sunday.” I know it’s possible to over-state things here because I believe God gave me a brain and he expects me to use it. His plan for my life isn’t for me to sit idly by and wait for him to come to my rescue all the time. Still, the reminder here is that the Lord wants to be connected to my life and he wants me to see all I do as a part of my walk with him; not just the so-called “religious” stuff.
Take Away: The Lord calls us to live in a real relationship with him – every day, in every situation.

Devotional on Proverbs

2002 – New Hampshire

Trust in God, not in chance
Proverbs 22: Don’t gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hocking your house against a lucky chance.
From the middle of Proverbs 22 through most of chapter 24 we’re given a list of thirty wise sayings collected by Solomon. In fact, this is the first of three such collections, the last being some of Solomon’s own gems. Clearly this wise man is not only a source of wisdom but is a collector of it too. The proverb concerning gambling catches my eye today as gambling is everywhere in our culture. Several states have turned to casinos as an answer to financial shortfalls. Also, there are many state sponsored lotteries. It isn’t unusual to be approached by someone selling raffle tickets in support of some worthy cause. (If I think it is truly worthy, I make a donation but decline taking a ticket.) When I turn on the TV I find shows about poker games. It’s clear that our society is awash with gambling. This isn’t how people of faith are supposed to operate. My hope isn’t that by taking a chance I can get hold of the money of other people who have taken the same chance. The life of faith isn’t about getting all I can from anywhere I can. Rather than gambling on my future by guessing the right lotto numbers I can stake my future on the solid rock of God’s faithfulness to me. Jesus said it’s impossible to serve both God and money. In this proverb, I see the wisdom of avoiding the gambling trap.
Take Away: Our hope is in the Lord, not in picking the right lotto numbers.

Devotional on Isaiah

2007 – Blanchard Caverns, Arkansas

Soaring like eagles
Isaiah 40: Those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles.
Isaiah says that when everything else gives way that “God lasts.” He doesn’t lose interest and he doesn’t grow weary. Everything else can, and will, fail, either intentionally or unintentionally but God never fails. Beyond that, God’s people draw strength from him. We’re still human and because of that we face the frailties of humanity. Still, as we trust in the Lord and lean on him we find strength where it matters the most. The strength to soar like an eagle isn’t strength to win races or ball games. It isn’t strength to never fail in the events of life. It’s spiritual strength to live in a victorious relationship with our Creator even in the face of our humanity. When Isaiah talks about people who run and don’t get tired he’s talking about the race of life. The body wears out and begins to fall apart. Physically, we spend 25 years or so gaining strength and then 50 years giving back, little by little, what we’ve gained. Spiritually though, as we “wait upon God” we finish the race with all the vigor we had at the beginning of it because he renews us day by day. It’s a bit of a paradox, but very often the people we know who on the outside seem to have the least strength are the very ones who “soar like eagles” in spirit.
Take Away: The people of the Lord draw strength from him.

Devotional on Isaiah

2007 – Near Estes Park in RMNP, CO

Not blind trust
Isaiah 45: I am God. I work out in the open.
Isaiah speaks to people who have incorporated idol worship into their religion. The religions of other nations have greatly influenced them, causing their view of God to include lots of mystery and magic. In his message, Isaiah includes the words of the Lord who reminds them that he’s never told them to, “Seek me in emptiness, in dark nothingness.” In fact, the Lord has done just the opposite. He’s told them his plans ahead of time. He’s even offered them choices: “do this and I will do that, or do that, and I will do this.” This God doesn’t work in the darkness and serving him doesn’t involve a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. Serving God certainly requires faith on our part. There’s much about that Almighty that’s transcendent, beyond our understanding. However, his desires for us are an open book. As Isaiah says it, “Turn to me and be helped —saved! — everyone, whoever and wherever you are!” Living in a relationship with God isn’t an exercise in ignorance. This God partners with us, directing our lives, but, at the same time, allows us to operate freely within his purposes. This God prefers light to darkness and is, in fact, the Creator of Light (both physical and spiritual). We serve him in absolute trust, but, since his purposes for us have already been clearly stated, it isn’t blind trust.
Take Away: Living in a relationship with the Lord isn’t an exercise in ignorance.

Devotional on Isaiah

2007 – taken off of the Port Bolivar Ferry – Galveston

Trusting when God is silent
Isaiah 57: Because I don’t yell and make a scene do you think I don’t exist?
The Lord states his charge against a people who follow every god who comes along while ignoring the only One who’s real. Through the generations he’s done some awesome things, so it isn’t as though he’s been unseen or absent. Still, if a person wants a god who’ll perform on demand and can be manipulated by some magic incantation, well, to them, the Lord God might seem to be out of the picture. However, just because the Almighty won’t let them call the shots doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what’s going on. Even as they practice their secret sex-oriented religion he’s been watching, and he isn’t amused by it all. Every detail of their absurd, twisted efforts at religion is going to be brought to light as God assumes the role of both Judge and Prosecutor. On that day they can call on their wooden and stone gods all they want. There’ll be no answer because there’s nothing there that can answer. Thankfully, part of this message has nothing to do with me. I’ve no secret religion and no idols are hidden away in the closet. However, it’s to my benefit to take hold of the other point here. Just because God isn’t doing what I think he ought to be doing about some situation and just because he’s silent about some issue in my life doesn’t mean he’s distant or unconcerned. At times like that I simply have to conclude that God is God and that he’s operating at a level beyond my grasp. I may not always like it, but I don’t have to. I do, though, have to keep on trusting him. That’s part of being one of his people.
Take Away: I don’t have to always understand but I do have to always trust.

Devotional on Jeremiah

2008 – Enchanted Rock – near Llano, TX

God’s call
Jeremiah 1: Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.
It would be easy for me to make this into a pro-life passage. In fact, I am tempted to do just that. However, I find myself thinking more about God’s call on lives. How does God pick people to speak on his behalf? What criteria does he use? Apparently, at least sometimes, he picks people to represent him who have no credentials at all! In this case Jeremiah looks back on his call to be a prophet and remembers that it was God who picked him, not he who picked God. Before he had any “credentials,” in fact, before he could make any decisions at all, God laid his hand on him, calling him to be his servant. Clearly, the Almighty has his own agenda and makes decisions based on things totally beyond us. Now, I have to add that that doesn’t mean that Jeremiah had no say in the matter. God’s call came: that was God’s role alone. Jeremiah had to cooperate: that was his role. In theory at least, Jeremiah could have refused God and walked away and another person’s ministry would appear in place of this book of the Bible. Since God called and Jeremiah (howbeit reluctantly) said “yes” we have his story here. I’m reminded today that when God calls we can’t always understand why. We just have to “trust and obey.”
Take Away: The Lord doesn’t call us to understand everything but he does call us to obey all we understand him to call us to.

Devotional on Jeremiah

2009 – View from Rhapsody of the Seas – Seattle, WA

Don’t sweat the little stuff
Jeremiah 12: What’s going to happen when troubles break loose?
The whole question is: “If you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?” God’s question to Jeremiah is attention getting. My first response is that “calm” is a relative term. At almost any time I can find something unsettling to think about. Just watching the evening news provides me plenty of “troublesome” thought ammunition. Frankly, of course, I don’t have to reach that far. Like everyone else I always have something going on: family concerns, finances, and health spring to mind. Again, calm is a relative term because much of this is just part of living. No one has confused my neighborhood with the Garden of Eden and the same can be said of yours. So, I must learn to take life in stride. I’m not saying that life is always easy. For everyone there are times of “flooding Jordan” that knock the props out of everything in our lives. Even in that, though, the Lord isn’t giving me the permission to fall apart. Through Jeremiah he tells me to stop making big deals out of little deals in my life; to learn to trust him in those common problems and then, when the “biggie” comes, to apply what I’ve learned about trust even as the flood waters really are sweeping through my life. I know, I know, it’s easier said than done. Then again, that’s why I have to practice keeping my wits about me in the little stuff first.
Take Away: As we learn to trust the Lord with the little things of life we lay the foundation for trusting him with the big ones when they come.

Devotional on Jeremiah

2009 – Iowa fall colors

Taking the “rest of the story” by faith
Jeremiah 39: I’ll most certainly save you.
The hero who rescued Jeremiah from the muddy prison is Ebed-melek. Now, as Jerusalem totters on the brink of destruction Jeremiah seeks him out. The Lord has a message specifically for this hero, and it’s a good one. The Lord has taken note of this good man’s courage and faithfulness. Things are going to get really bad very soon but Ebed-melek is going to be spared because God’s going to see to it. In a sense, we see here God’s message to all those who are faithful to him. There’s no promise for any of us of an easy life in which bad things never come, but there is the promise of God’s watch care over us. It must have been, at the same time, welcome and unbelievable news for Ebed-melek. Of course, he’s happy to hear such a message from Jeremiah, God’s prophet. At the same time, he, and all Jerusalem, is very aware of the mighty army that’s poised on their doorstep. The reality of it all nearly overwhelms the message of assurance from Jeremiah. It’s the same for you and me. The hard facts of pain and disappointment and disaster can nearly obliterate the promise of God’s presence. Still, none of that negates it. Interestingly, the writer of the sacred text doesn’t follow up on the story. Jeremiah promises Ebed-melek that God will save him and that’s it. Maybe there’s a lesson for us in what isn’t included here. We’re to read this promise and conclude that, even though we don’t know the details, God keeps his word. In the same way, I, right in the middle of life without any specific knowledge of what’s coming, must conclude that God will “most certainly save” me too.
Take Away: Even we don’t know how he’s going to do it we can rest assured that the Lord will, indeed, keep his promises.

Devotional on Jeremiah

2009 – Brazos Bend State Park – TX

Some things are easier said than done
Jeremiah 42: I’m on your side, ready to save and deliver you from anything he might do.
Johanan and other Judean leaders know that the murder of Gedaliah is a very big deal. The Babylonian king is not known for his forgiving nature. Gedaliah was the person he left in charge and his murder will be seen as an uprising against his rule. There’s sure to be devastating punishment. Their solution is to prepare for exile by running in the opposite direction to Egypt, the other major power in the region. Johanan and others ask Jeremiah to pray for God’s direction in this, promising to do whatever the Lord says. However, the message from the Lord isn’t what they expect to hear. The Lord says to stay put and trust him. Again, this is totally unexpected and, from a human point of view, very unreasonable. They’ve already seen the wrath of the Babylonians. Thousands have been killed, multiplied thousands have been carried off into exile never to return, and devastation is all around them. For civic leaders to stick around, waiting for word of the governor’s murder to reach Babylonia is, in their eyes, an almost criminal inaction. Jeremiah says, “Just trust God and everything will be okay.” That’s one of those “easier said than done” statements. Happily, such extreme, life and death situations don’t come our way very often, if ever. For me to find applications in life I have to dial things back considerably. Still, there are times when we, too, are to stand still and trust God rather than take matters into our own hands. For instance, things down at the church may not be going well and several are jumping ship for the latest and greatest program down the road. We’re tempted to follow suit, but when we pray, we simply can’t feel free to do it. Others say, “Come on in, the water’s fine!” God seems to say, “Stay right where you are, I’ll take care of you and your family.” As a pastor it always concerns me when church people from other congregations show up at our door on a Sunday morning. I’m not saying there’s never a time to go, but I don’t want to be someone’s “Egypt” when the Lord wants them to stay put and be a part of the turning of the tide right where they are.
Take Away: If the Lord says “stay put” the only thing to do is, well, to stay put!

Devotional on Jeremiah

2009 – Brazos Bend State Park – TX

God’s direction or just his blessing?
Jeremiah 43: Liar! Our God never sent you with this message.
It starts when Johanan and others come to Jeremiah asking him to pray as they decide on their course of action. It won’t be long before the king of Babylon hears of the murder of the governor he appointed over their territory and they want to get out of town before he comes to finish the destruction that was started when Jerusalem fell. They promise that they’ll do whatever God says. Jeremiah agrees to go to the Lord for a plan of action but the instructions he receives from the Lord surprises everyone, maybe even the prophet, himself. God says stay put and he’ll take care of them. That doesn’t sit well with any of the leaders. You see, they don’t really want God’s direction. Instead, they want God’s blessing on what they’ve already decided to do. When Jeremiah returns with a word from God that contradicts their plans they immediately declare Jeremiah to be a liar who has an agenda of his own. In spite of dire warnings from him they load everyone up and head for Egypt…and for more destruction. I’m glad I never make the mistake Johanan and the others did and ignore the “asking for directions” part and leap directly to the “Lord, bless what I’m about to do” part. Well, at least I know how it’s supposed to work. Maybe one of the reasons I end up in “Egypt” so often is that I spent all my prayer time explaining to the Lord why he ought to bless my predetermined course of action instead of asking him what it is, exactly, he wants me to do in the first place.
Take Away: Do we really want the Lord’s directions or just his rubber stamp on what we what to do?

Devotional on Jeremiah

2009 – Taken at YMCA – Estes Park, CO

A personal promise from the Lord
Jeremiah 45: I’ll keep you alive through the whole business.
The story of Jeremiah pretty much ends with him in Egypt. Aside from the conclusion to his writings in the last pages of the book we’re about to move to an “appendix” of some of his prophecies concerning other nations. Just before we do that, we find the brief words of chapter 45. Obviously, this is out of place and would fit better back in chapter 36. It’s in that chapter that we find the story of Jeremiah’s dictating his gloom and doom message to his loyal secretary, Baruch. This good man writes it all down, not once, but twice. Baruch, then, is very aware of what’s coming, and frankly that knowledge scares him to death. The king might deny it all and act to silence the messenger. Baruch, though, believes every word he’s written. In an act of mercy, Jeremiah informs his faithful secretary that now he has a message specifically for him. God’s word for this good man is this: “Things are going to get worse, but don’t worry, I’m going to take care of you and see you through this whole business.” I can just imagine Baruch’s blood pressure dropping several points as Jeremiah states these words of assurance to him. I can’t find any prophecies in the Bible with my name on them, but I do find plenty of promises addressed to those who put their trust in the Lord. Like Baruch, then, I have a word from the Lord to hold on to even when things are in the “getting worse” stage. I don’t have to be consumed with worry because God has promised life to me.
Take Away: It’s a great comfort in troubling times to remember that the Lord has promised life to me.

Devotional on Lamentations

2010 – Rocky Mountain National Park

Quiet Hope
Lamentations 3: It’s a good thing to quietly hope…for help from God.
In the midst of this book of laments I find the wonderful oasis in chapter three. Like a desert traveler I can’t help but to stay for a while and pitch my tent and enjoy the beauty of this place. Jeremiah has seen all the worst of life and it’s likely that he won’t live to see things get much better. Still, he’s concluded that “it’s a good thing to quietly hope” in God. I love the phrase “quietly hope.” I remember praying with an individual once about a legitimate concern in their life. However, their prayer was loud and emotional to the point that I don’t think that they managed to get much of a prayer prayed. Now, let me quickly add that I’m not against emotional prayers and I don’t want to go on record as opposing “loud” prayers either. However, the individual I prayed with wasn’t praying so much as working up some emotional state. Hopeful trust isn’t best displayed in a loud, emotional prayer. To truly hope is to calm down, to look to God, and to place things in his hands. Jesus warned against praying as though we think God will be impressed by our many words and as I visit this passage, I think Jeremiah’s making a similar statement. Without making a lot of noise, without working up our emotions, we turn our faces to heaven in quiet hope in God. Remember, Jeremiah isn’t speaking theoretically here; after all, we’re in the heart of his book of Lamentations.
Take Away: To truly hope is to calm down, to look to God, and to place things in his hands.

Devotional on Ezekiel

2011 – Blanco State Park, TX

Splintered reeds don’t make good crutches
Ezekiel 31: Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt, that pompous old goat….
This portion of Ezekiel contains page after page of condemning prophecies concerning Egypt. Ezekiel says that just as a world power of previous generations, Assyria, fell like a big tree so will Egypt. This is a double edged prophecy because Israel has looked to their previous enslavers for help against Babylon. Therefore, the prophecy is not only directed to Egypt but to Israel as well. The nation Israel turns to (rather than turning to God in repentance) will shatter before them. Ezekiel calls the Pharaoh a “pompous old goat,” acting as though he’s important and powerful but is, in reality, reigning over a dying, powerless country that won’t be able to protect itself much less protect Israel. My devotional thought from all of this is a simple one. I need to be careful that I don’t lean on a “splintered reed” in my life either. My hope isn’t in the U.S. economy or some political figure or in anything else. I hope for better things for this nation, but I know that all these “securities” can all come crashing down at any time. Christ is my hope, my strong rock and in him I find security.
Take Away: Only in the Lord do I find real security.

Devotional on Daniel

2011 – London – Westminster Abbey

God trusting us to trust him
Daniel 3: The God we serve can rescue us…but even if he doesn’t….
I love this story! The pagan king orders the three Hebrew men to worship his statue; it’s either worship or die in the furnace. Their response is one for the ages: “The God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace…but even if he doesn’t…we still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” Now, that’s trusting faith! I’ve never been where they are and I hope I never am. However, if such a day comes I pray that I’ll have the same backbone they did. At a much less intense level, I’m taken by their “even if he doesn’t” statement. They knew what God “could” do but they weren’t sure of what he “would” do. If they’re given a choice, they’ll vote for divine rescue, but, obviously they aren’t the ones choosing. If they have to, they’ll go with option two: obedience even to death. I, too, believe the Lord knows how to rescue his people. However, there are times when it seems God has something bigger going on and my predicament isn’t at the core of what’s happening. At times like that the Lord trusts me to trust him. So, “even if he doesn’t” do what I want, I declare my allegiance to him and then hold fast to it.
Take Away: The great test of faith isn’t believing for a miracle. Rather, it’s believing when the miracle never comes.

Devotional on Daniel

2011 – Paris – Versailles – Orangerie

Don’t worry about it
Daniel 12: Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax.
The things Daniel sees contain some disturbing and confusing information. He’s concerned about that. He doesn’t want to miss out on the message he’s been given. However, God’s messenger tells him not to worry about it. What he’s been shown is a long way off and, while some will waste a great deal of energy “running around, trying to figure out what’s going on” Daniel isn’t expected to grasp it all. Rather, he’s to merely pass the word along and when the time is right it’ll be opened up to those who need to understand. When he’s done that, Daniel’s off the hook. He’s to go about living life without fretting or worrying about how it will all play out. The Lord’s final message to Daniel is “relax.” I firmly believe that there are crucial events in world history when God puts specific people in a specific place for just that moment. However, most of us are called to simply live for God day by day. We don’t have to figure it all out and we don’t have to become famous Christians. If I give my life to Jesus and by his grace live for him I can “relax.” As Daniel’s promised, “When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.”
Take Away: Most of us are called to simply live for the Lord day by day.

Devotional on Micah

2013 – Pilot Mountain, North Carolina

Getting stuff from God
Micah 2: I’ll preach sermons that will tell you how to get anything you want from God.
God’s man says that when the people of his nation send out a pastoral search committee that they’re looking for a specific kind of preacher. They aren’t interested in hearing sermons about repentance and judgment, but they’d love to hear sermons that tell them how to get God to do stuff for them. Such a preacher is sure to be hired on the spot. Obviously, this desire isn’t limited to Micah’s day. For many people manipulating God is what religion’s all about. Many years earlier the suffering Job says, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” (Job 13:15) Earlier, Job had gotten an enormous amount of stuff from God. Now, it’s all gone and all he has left is a broken life and a stubborn faith. So which approach to God describes me? Am I in it for what I can get? What if everything I hold dear is taken from me and it seems God’s no longer playing Santa Claus? On one hand, we have people who don’t want to hear what God has to say but are very interested in what they can get God to do. On the other hand, we have a man who’s so committed to God that even when most of his theology has crashed he insists on continuing to hope in the Lord. I pray I never have to travel Job’s road but I’m certain I don’t want to follow that of the people of Micah’s day.
Take Away: Do we serve the Lord for what we think we might get from him?

Devotional on Nahum

2013 – Smoky Mountains and vicinity – “Dry Falls” – Cullasaja Gorge

At just the right time God will speak
Nahum 1: And God has something to say about all this.
Things don’t look good for God’s purposes in the world. A wicked nation is doing very well. Their capitol city sits at the heart of incredible power and evil. God’s people are small in number and spirit. Is this the end of it all? Will sin and evil win the day? Nahum calls for calm as he declares good news for all those who love that which is good. Nineveh appears to be on top of the world, but “God has something to say about all this.” The “top of the world” position of that wicked city is a mere anthill in the eyes of God and when the Almighty acts, even that anthill will be “mowed down flat.” Through the centuries there have been many times when it seemed this world was out of God’s control and that the cause of righteousness was lost. There have been times when God’s people were speechless in the face of overwhelming sin. That’s okay. You see, even when we’re at a loss as to what to do or say, at just the right time, God will speak. What appears to us to be overwhelming circumstances is a mere anthill to the Lord. My mission in such times is, first, to keep trusting in him even when it seems evil has the upper hand and second, if he can use me, to be a part of God’s remedy for a sin-sick world.
Take Away: At just the right time the Lord will speak.

Devotional on Nahum

2013 – Cataloochee Valley – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

No plunger necessary
Nahum 2: Nineveh is a tub from which they’ve pulled the plug.
If I’m unfortunate enough to find myself in a yard with a pit bull dog, I’ll keep my eye on that dangerous animal as I do whatever it is I need to do. My attention will be divided between the task at hand and the big dog. That’s how it is for Judah. Nineveh and its empire is an overpowering, frightening evil that dominates the landscape. Right there in their back yard is the might of Assyria. Nahum wants to remind them that Nineveh isn’t as big a deal as they think it is. The description of the end of Nineveh is intended to bring a smile. When God takes action on that wicked city it will drain away like water draining from a tub once the plug is pulled. A take away for me today is that some threats demand way too much of my attention. The Lord can handle that problem. Anytime he wants he can pull the plug on its entire operation. My job then, is to keep my eyes on him; to trust him and obey him, and let him handle that which would otherwise scare me half to death.
Take Away: Our job is to keep our eyes on the Lord.

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